Apollo Endosurgery recommended for $5 million Commercialization Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of TexasFunding to Focus on New Flexible Surgical Tools for Cancers of the Colon, Stomach, and Esophagus
AUSTIN, TX – June 22, 2010 – Apollo Endosurgery announced today that the Company received notice of a $5 million award from the State of Texas through the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (“CPRIT”). Apollo was one of only three companies recommended for the inaugural commercialization awards. CPRIT was established to expedite innovation and commercialization in the area of cancer research and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs and services throughout the State. Acceptance of the award is subject to the completion of final due diligence and contract negotiations.
The CPRIT award will fund the commercialization of Apollo’s SuMO™ System comprised of flexible surgery devices focused on cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. These cancers represent the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. SuMO, which stands for Sub-Mucosal Operation, was developed through a partnership between Apollo Endosurgery and the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of Texas Medical Branch. The SuMO system utilizes a standard flexible endoscope to deliver specialized surgical tools to suspected lesions in the gastrointestinal tract via natural orifices, avoiding the trauma and pain associated with standard surgery. In preclinical proof-of-concept studies, gastrointestinal tissue up to 7 cm in diameter has been removed en bloc endoscopically.
“This CPRIT award speaks to the exciting potential of Apollo’s flexible surgical tools to significantly improve therapy for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. More importantly, the CPRIT funding will enable this exciting technology to move from the research lab to the bedside, to the benefit of Texans and patients worldwide,” stated Dennis McWilliams, CEO and President of Apollo Endosurgery. “These commercialization awards provided by CPRIT clearly establish Texas as the top State to start and grow new companies in the field of cancer therapy and diagnostics.”
Christopher J. Gostout, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester adds, “SuMO represents a huge leap in therapeutic options for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. The ability to easily remove neoplasms endoscopically will significantly improve the treatment options for these patients.”
About Apollo Endosurgery, Inc.
Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. is dedicated to revolutionizing patient care through the development of flexible surgery, which is emerging from the convergence of laparoscopic surgery and therapeutic gastroenterology. Flexible surgery minimizes the trauma of surgical access by taking advantage of natural orifices to deliver surgical tools to targeted areas. All of Apollo’s products are compatible with existing flexible endoscope platforms. Apollo Endosurgery was cofounded with the Apollo Group, a unique collaboration of physicians from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The company is funded by PTV Sciences and H.I.G. Ventures.